The Matamata turtle looks more like a little daughter of Godzilla, the terrible Japanese lizard, than an aquarium turtle or one of those wise beings who walk around the zoos with birds on their backs and the patience of a saint. In fact, this turtle seems to live up to its name and be a malt of the turtles by its neck and thick quilométrico bull fighting. Surely the other turtles do not want to run into the Matamata in a dark alley.
But, in fact, the Matamata turtle, despite its fierce appearance, is quite tranquil. It is rather large and is found in the jungles of the Amazon in countries such as Bolivia, Peru or Brazil. It lives in lakes and swamps and, although it is an aquatic animal, it needs to be in shallow places to breathe. If you want to know more interesting things about this animal, do not miss what we bring you next in Supercurious .
Turtle Matamata | An exotic and impressive animal. Know it!
1. The reason for its strange appearance
As we said above, and as seen at first glance, the Matamata turtle has a most singular aspect , with a spiny and brown, large shell, and a neck full of bulbous protuberances, as well as a horn in the nose area. Its appearance, in fact, has been worth to be considered as a regular candidate when it comes to finding the ugliest animal in the world .
The explanation of why the turtle looks so weird is very simple. Due to its calm and sedentary nature, the body of the turtle is thought to blend in the place where it lives, as we have already mentioned, jungle and wooded zones. In this way, the shell is designed to mimic the bark of trees, while the neck looks like a pile of leaves and sticks. Thus, the Matamata turtle kills (haha!) Two birds with one stone: to go unnoticed as much for the prey as for the predators.
Oh, and another curious thing about its appearance: the turtle's neck is longer than its vertebrae . This is especially useful when waiting for their prey without doing anything, as they can have their bodies submerged and their heads on the surface to breathe. Also, his head is so big that the poor animal is unable to put it in its shell.
2. How did you say your name is, lady turtle?
Since its discovery, at the end of the 18th century, the turtle Matamata has had many different names . First it was called a needle nose, later a leaf head ... In fact, until the current name was reached, it changed its name to a whopping fourteen times!
3. The curious way to feed on the Matamata turtle
As we have said on different occasions, this type of turtle has a very sedentary life, or what is the same, do not move or eat. Literally. The way to "hunt" the Matamata turtle is to leave your mouth open: wait patiently in a place cool and calm, wet, but with the ringleader outside to breathe.
When a fish approaches (the base of its diet) the turtle opens its mouth, creating a vacuum that drags the prey inside while it expels the water. The turtle you have to swallow the whole food because, by the way your head is made, you can not chew . It would be very useful for humans to know how to do the same to avoid having to open the fridge!
4. The courtship of the turtles
When it comes to getting a mother for their children, the males of this type of turtle do a very funny dance , since they open and close their mouths while they move their heads towards it, move the lateral parts of the neck and extend the back legs (as you can imagine, this is a lot of work for an animal that spends the day napping). The female is supposed to be dazzled.
And if the male manages to conquer it, the female prepares a nest in a protected area, cool and do not give the sun directly , where it will put between a dozen and a score of eggs (which, by the way, are round and hard, unlike most other species of turtles, which are softer and skin-like). Then you will have to incubate them about two-hundred days before the hatchlings are born. Almost nothing!
5. Can I have a Matamata turtle in captivity?
This type of turtles are quite popular in certain countries to have them as pets , since they are very rare, they barely move and have an affordable diet. Buy it can leave by a beak, because it is an exotic animal, in addition, although they are somewhat lazy, they grow and can get to occupy enough. But there is something more important still: they do not lead captivity well and they can stress very easily, which can lead to health problems.
Further, Matamata turtles also deserve to be happy, and they can only be happy in the place where they were born . For that reason, it is better to leave them where they are, in their jungle, eating fish and dancing from time to time to flirt. Living in slow motion, as they live.
If you liked the Matamata turtle, do not miss ...
If you have enjoyed knowing the turtle Matamata, in Supercurioso we propose you to do the same with other creatures the sea of fascinating. Which one will be next?
- The Rat Topo : rodents of sub-Saharan Africa that is characterized by defying aging and death.
- The Topo Star Nose : As its name suggests, the nose is its most characteristic feature. Not only because of its appearance, but also because it behaves as if it were two eyes.
As you can see, the Matamata turtle is an animal, which, although it seems very ugly at first sight, is most adorable when you start to know it better. We love that it is so vague, in fact, it could be the lazy water cousin! Tell us, did you know this rare turtle? Do you think we have forgotten something to tell about this fascinating animal? Remember that you can tell us what you want in a comment, we will love to know what you think!